The following comments on the House vote to extend the National Flood Insurance Program for six months may be attributed to Kathy Mitchell, federal affairs director for NAMIC:
“NAMIC is pleased that the House passed legislation that would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for an additional six months, through March 31, 2010. Clearly, we cannot allow the NFIP to expire which could be devastating to those policyholders who live in flood-prone areas and to the nation’s already weakened real-estate markets. However, the program is in need of several critical reforms and a long-term extension so that consumers and taxpayers can have greater confidence in their investments for the future.
“NAMIC supports several NFIP reforms that include mandated updates of the nation’s flood maps, the phase-in of actuarially sound rates for non-residential and non-primary residences, increased financial institution penalties for non-compliance, and the forgiveness of the program’s now more than $19 billion debt. If these reforms are adopted, it will move the program toward a healthier financial future. Additionally, it is critical to not include a provision for mandatory wind coverage which would only saddle the NFIP with even more debt and disrupt the entire national marketplace.
“Congress has been dealing with a full legislative agenda, a situation that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. However, we are hopeful that reform of the NFIP will happen during this six-month extension. The Obama Administration has indicated that it supports many needed reforms of the program including debt forgiveness while opposing the addition of wind coverage. NAMIC is encouraged that the Obama Administration has chosen to follow a financially responsible policy approach to shoring up this vital program.
“It is imperative that Congress use this six-month extension to ensure that the program is reformed and extended so that those Americans living in flood-prone areas continue to be protected. NAMIC will be working closely with Congress to enact meaningful flood insurance reform legislation.”
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